If you plan to drive in Arizona, note that the state's Financial Responsibility Law requires you to carry mandatory insurance of at least the stated minimum amount of 15/30/10. The purpose of this law is to ensure that Arizona residents are protected from damages resulting from auto accidents. You may also consider using one other alternative to a policy to fulfill the requirement (covered below).
There are two instances when you will be asked to show proof of insurance: when you are pulled over on the road, or when you register your car with the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Keep your insurance ID card on hand, either as a physical copy or an electronic image (for example, on your phone), in case a law enforcement officer asks for it.
|Arizona Required Car Insurance Coverage||AZ Required Min. Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$10,000 per accident|
Arizona Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
A policy that meets the Arizona's mandatory insurance requirements includes two liability insurance coverages: Bodily Injury and Property Damage. When you accidentally cause a car crash, liability insurance helps you pay for the other driver’s medical bills and property damage up to a certain amount, which is also known as your coverage limits. You cannot purchase, nor can a licensed insurer offer you, limits lower than the following:
Bodily Injury (BI): coverage limits to $15,000 per injured person, to a total of $30,000 for two or more injured persons in an accident you are at-fault for. BI also covers legal fees in the event that the other party sues you, but the insurer will only pay up to the stated limit amount. You may want to consider higher limits; availability and range vary by insurer.
Property Damage (PD): coverage limits to $10,000 for damaged property you cause in any given accident you are found at-fault. This may cover everything from the other driver’s car to other properties that are damaged in the accident, such as buildings and fences. Higher limits are available, which varies by insurer.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage in Arizona
While liability insurance covers what you would owe to a driver you impacted, there are other aspects of any accident that may still leave you financially exposed. Most agents and government officials will tell you that matching the mandatory insurance limits in Arizona is not enough to protect you. Here are several commonly included coverages to make a more comprehensive insurance policy:
Physical Damage: comprising of Collision and Comprehensive coverage, physical damage insurance covers your car’s repair costs, from collision accidents (regardless of fault) to vandalism and theft. The most you can receive under either coverage is your insured car’s current market value. Note that insurers usually ask for a deductible amount, which you must pay on your own before the coverage takes effect after each accident.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): UM/UIM covers your own bodily injury medical bills when the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured. Similar to your BI’s coverage, there are also a range of limits you may purchase for UM/UIM; however, under no circumstance can the UM/UIM limits be higher than the BI limits on the same policy.
Medical Payments (MED): MED covers your medical bills when the injuries were from an auto-related accident, up to a certain amount. This may range from ambulance, hospital and surgeries to professional nursing costs. While some Arizona motorists may find this coverage redundant with their health insurance, consider that MED reimburses the deductibles you have to pay before that coverage kicks in.
Alternative Proof of Financial Responsibility
The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) allows one alternative to an insurance policy. You may satisfy the Financial Responsibility Law by making a deposit of $40,000, in either cash or securities (such as government bonds or notes), with the State Treasurer. When the Treasurer has verified that you have no prior unsatisfied judgements against you, you will receive a certificate of deposit. Use this certificate as your proof of insurance when you face a law enforcement officer in the Grand Canyon State. Just bear in mind that if you ever cause an accident in Arizona, the claims would be paid out of that deposit. Should the total amount be greater than $40k, then you'd be at risk for a lawsuit if the injured party decides to recover the rest.